448 pages (Paperback)
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.Talk about a roller coaster of a book. just when I thought I was going to DNF it, this book sent me reeling and didn't let up until the very end!
Elisa has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king--a king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could save his people. And he looks at her in a way no man has ever looked at her before. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn't die young.
Most of the chosen do. (From Goodreads)
Fantasy generally isn't my genre. I have a hard time getting into it, and this book is no exception. It took a long time for me to understand the world. The world develops slowly, and what we learn morphs throughout. This is why I almost gave up on the book. It was taking simply too long for the story to really get going. If you can get through the first half of the book though, it does pick up the pace and become more enjoyable. My paperback copy also included a map, which I love with these sort of novels. It makes the story feel more grounded and real, in my opinion.
I'm not going to say much about the characters, because I really don't want to get too spoiler-y here. Elisa is a nice change from your typical YA protagonist. Her struggles with food become an interesting theme within the book, and she develops and grows so much. It was nice to see her grow into her role.
Be warned, Rae Carson is not afraid to kill characters. NO ONE IS FAIR GAME! The second half of this book begins to become a bit of a bloodbath. It's not gory, but no one is safe. I was quite attached to one character in particular, who gets their throat slit. Not cool.
I honestly have no idea where the next book, The Crown of Embers, will go, but I will be checking it out in the near future. So, if you feel up for some fantasy and adventure, pick up The Girl of Fire and Thorns!
Much love, Samantha